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vince is great; k-12 shows and process

updated mon 27 nov 00


Diane Mead on sun 26 nov 00

The words from Vince, the greatest cheerleader for art education, have kept
many of us in the trenches going for quite some time!
How does he read the minds of us h.s. and lower school art teachers???

I have a great solution for many of the glitches of time/space/logistics
concerning high school art programs.
When my kids are truly enamored of clay, (or any medium), they do end up
doing all the important things themselves. They end up finding places
off-campus (sometimes at home) with more space and time to make great clay
work. Sometimes they take courses at the local colleges, or clay studios.
Sometimes they build their own wheels, (speaking of the older kids, seniors,
usually). Somtimes they pit fire on their own property. Some go on to be art
majors in college. Some dig up their own clay, and some mix glazes. I've
used the Glenn Nelson book, (and countless others) to help those old enough
to do the work. Pretty soon we'll get to add another esteemed text to Rhodes
and all the other great ones (Vince's!!!)
And Clayart LIST saves us every day!!! (thanks John Hesselberth!)
They understand that our (VERY) tiny Catholic college prep school is here to
get them inspired for what they want to do in their lives. Some end up
pursuing art in one fashion or another. They know that in Chemistry or
Physics or Calc or British Lit, their teacher cannot be all things to them
all the time. And when they see my tiny room, and hear the bell after 50
minutes of class (and they groan, "Do we have to go Mrs. Mead???") they
understand their obligation to find a way outside of class to pursue their
love. I help them find that way all that I can. And often the best art is
inspired in my room, and completed on their kitchen table or in their
basement. They feel power when they know they can get the seed of the idea
from me, and that kernel grows into a lifelong passion.

Diane, in the Catholic high school trenches in central Georgia

>words below by vince:
>Remember that the most important things we want to accomplish in art at the
>high school level are to raise the level of enthusiasm for art among the
>students, to exercise their creativity and craftsmanship, and to teach them
>a vocabulary of art and design so that they can communicate about art.
>considering the broad spectrum of visual art experience at the high school
>level, the formulation of clays and glazes and firing of kilns are not very
>important at all. The students who get excited about clay and want to
>pursue it will learn these things at the college level.
>Best wishes -
>- Vince
>Vince Pitelka
>Home -
>Work -
>615/597-6801 ext. 111, fax 615/597-6803
>Appalachian Center for Crafts
>Tennessee Technological University
>1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

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